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Health Alert: Teething in infants

CINCINNATI (Holly Firfer) -- Parents of newborns know about teething.

Developing new teeth can make a little one very uncomfortable.  But what's the best way to treat a teething infant?

Teething can hurt, not only for a baby, but for parents who worry about their little ones.  No one likes to see a child cry.  In many cases, in order to soothe the teething pain, caregivers and parents rub medication on their infants' gums.  New research said that could be harmful or toxic.

The Food and Drug Administration is warning parents that prescription drugs like lidocaine are not safe for treating teething in a baby.  Previously, the FDA warned parents not to use over-the-counter drugs such as benzocaine liquids and gels for teething infants because they can cause a deadly blood condition.

The federal agency said to go the natural way; gently massage or rub the gums with your finger.  Parents can also give little ones a cool teething ring or a clean, wet, wash cloth to chew on.  But make sure it's not too chilly.  Objects that are too cold can hurt the gums and the infant. 

To avoid choking, parents should always supervise their children when giving them something in their mouths.


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